[03] iii

M and i take a walk around the campground to smoke because no one wants to smoke in front of other people's parents. our drinks are in large insulated cups with uncomfortable handles and gas station logos. i feel out of place. she says that as long as we don't throw our cigarette butts on the ground, no one will notice we exist. she's talking about things that don't matter, like water skiing and souvenirs. i ask her to tell me about Utah again. she has the same three stories and i've memorized them all.

we're sitting on a bench that's somehow overlooking water, which makes no sense. i must be turned around. the setting sun is brighter than our sunglasses can shield and she's telling me the one about her dad and the boat. she's not looking at me and i'm glad because my insides feel like they're made of string.

i never want to walk back but i don't want to stay here.

you're sitting at a picnic table, feigning charm and likability. when we walk up, everyone looks slightly disappointed and judgmental. maybe i'm projecting.

T motions for M to sit on his lap and i think i might throw up on everything that's ever been, but i don't know why. she obliges. it feels like half of the world just fell away.

you and i make eye contact briefly and i put my cup in the dirt near the camper. i'll wash my face and drink some water. you'll hand me a plate when dinner is ready and i'll pretend to care.

the sun's been gone for hours by the time i realize it's not B, it's her.

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